Dubai’s Ruler and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum said in a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) that what happened to the Norwegian woman, who was raped and put in prison for having “illicit sex outside of marriage” when she went to the police to report the rape was “unfortunate.”

“I think she was a victim, unfortunate, and we will try for that to not happen again. We are changing everything to suit Dubai and the UAE,” Mohammed Bin Rashid said

The woman, Marte Deborah Dalelv, was an interior designer working in Qatar and was in Dubai on a business visit when the incident happened in March 2013. She was sentenced to 16 months in prison but was pardoned by the Dubai ruler in July 2013.

About the case of the American youngster who was sentenced and remained in jail for five months for making a spoof documentary about the youth culture in Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed said: “We are not perfect, and we are trying to change. Any mistake, anything, we go in and try to change. We are not perfect but we are doing our best.”

The Dubai ruler said it is not true that workers are treated badly and not paid fairly in Dubai and the UAE, his government has introduced laws and is also working on improving living conditions for the foreign workers, and “you will soon see” the best accommodation for labour as well in Dubai.

Dubai has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and has become a popular destination for tourists and foreign workers over the last few years, after the government started building in the late 1990s massive infrastructure and tourist attractions.

Dubai and the UAE are, however, often found short of implementing human rights laws and fair judicial practices by international human rights organisations. Sheikh Mohammed’s views in the BBC interview about things not being perfect, and that Dubai is learning with every passing day to change for the better are a welcome sign and will make Dubai even more popular among foreign tourists and businesses.